Wednesday, May 14, 2008

dear law and order

dear law and order (in all your incarnations),

i realize it's hard to find good actors out there, there are probably only hundreds of thousands of them going to casting calls when they aren't waiting tables. however, do you think you might try a little harder not to recycle the same ones on your various versions of law and order, and maybe not so frequently? for those of us who are fans, or those who have been watching since law and order was the only incarnation of the show, it's not only a little insulting but a bit distracting.

i turn on your new episode of law and order this evening and within the first ten minutes of the mystery i say to myself, "self, isn't that the same guy who played the dense guy who had been set up by his evil brother to commit murder as a kid?" and it might not have been so obvious if i hadn't just watched this very episode earlier this week. why? because at any given time on any given channel on any given day a law and order episode is playing. it is rerun ALL THE TIME. and sure, the episode was probably from law and order's "criminal intent" genre and originally aired three years ago, but that matters very little when in one week i get to see the same actor on variations of L&O playing different characters in the same week.

and this is not the most blatant of your indiscretions law and order, oh no, not only has this occurred with other characters who portray criminals (and i'm sorry, but once i start an episode and notice that the officemate of the guy who's dead had been in law and order before, it's pretty obvious he dunnit), but there are more flagrant fouls to note also. runner-up would have to be jerry orbach. not only the father in the screen gem dirty dancing (and has from my mom's hometown, wow!) but he played detective lenny briscoe for 12 seasons before he passed away. i'm sure you didn't think anyone would remember that during season two he played defense attorney frank lehrman. nah, and it's not like he's recognizable at all.

and then there's s. epatha merkerson, who has played the chief of police since 1993, but in years prior to that she's the mother of a boy who's killed. talk about a great promotion! you guys must have really been impressed with how well she answered the door, grieved for her child and answered police questions. "you know, that mom in the crack house was really talented, i think we should forget casting calls for the new police chief--get her in here!" and you know, i really shouldn't blame you, i was especially moved my her performance as 'reba the mail woman' on pee wee's playhouse when she was starting out. you go girl!

in your defense law and order, your show(s) has been on for a seriously long time and by now you have been through a ton of actors- even a guy i used to work with at the ice arena is credited as "copy clerk" in an episode from a few years ago. he had a few lines and everything. and now that i look at his bio--he was actually in another law and order episode two years later as a different character.

so, in conclusion ladies and gentleman of the jury, i propose to you that while law and order is an awesome show--i myself have ownership of the first season on DVD--i think the casting people take we, the viewing audience, for idiots. if you're going to throw the same actors back into a show, maybe have them play the same character or make it part of the plot. or if you're going to continue with this practice, maybe try not rerunning every single law and order ever made on every channel, which only draws attention to it.

and now that i've missed the show that started this letter, i think i should add the p.s.--the guy who was in tonight's episode who i had already recognized from a few years ago was also in yet another law and order episode when you check his bio. three different characters? come on. i rest my case.


your biggest fan



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice Rant Joanna!! I only ever watched the original and stopped watching long ago because for the most part every episode is the same!

Mr. B.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Kacee said...

My favorite is when they have people that are junkies, suspects, etc go on to be assistant DAs. Wish everyone could clean up that fast. I am with you...a hopeless L&O junkie...all of them.

6:54 PM  

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